A River Runs Through It…

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.”
― Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Dew Claw Kennel

 

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
-Heraclitus

Dew Claw Kennel

Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.
-Robert Frost

Dew Claw Kennel

All of these images might be beautiful reminders of the power of nature, were it not for one thing… Continue reading

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Springtime Mushing!

A panorama of the Dew Claw dogs in the White Mountains
A panorama of the Dew Claw dogs in the White Mountains

In our last post we talked about PIMS, so for this post I wanted to talk about the cure.  Springtime mushing in Alaska!  It is so beautiful it could cure just about any of many blues, bummers, and bad moods. If only I could bottle the pure joy of being in the sun drenched mountains with these amazing dogs ~ a million dollar idea that would make the world a better place.

Mary with her team

Mary with her team

The last week of March our friend Mary was in Fairbanks visiting, and was also feeling the need for some serious dog therapy. The prescription, an amazingly beautiful fun 30 mile roll through the White Mountains. Complete with the iPhone photos to prove it. So until I can find a way to bottle the essence of springtime mushing in Alaska I hope you will enjoy these photos from our day paired with various quotes I stumbled upon online.

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Post Iditarod decompression….

“The excellency of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeable evaporate.”    John Keats

Dan and the team at the end of the Iditarod trail running toward the burled arch in Nome.

Dan and the team at the end of the Iditarod trail running toward the burled arch in Nome.

Much like the artist the Iditarod musher must live with a level of intensity that allows one to believe they can with great conviction travel across Alaska in the winter by dog team. No barrier to this goal no matter how firmly based in reality or sanity is given a second thought as you stay focused. I have been quoted as saying your entire world boils down to, “16 tails and the next mile of trail”.  It is a level of intensity that does not leave room for trivial things like a social life, following current events, any ideas found on pintrest, or (more often then I like to admit) housekeeping. Most of the rest of the world melts away as you become singularly focused on one goal.

But once that goal is met, the intensity like so much hot air in a balloon is gone *poof* and you find yourself in a post race state often jokingly called PMS – post mushing syndrome. Or alternatively PISD – post Iditarod stress disorder. Call it what you want, it is the after race, what now? feeling that hits you after the mind numbing tired and bone rattling soreness wears off. Luckily the cure is springtime mushing in Alaska. Beautiful trail conditions in Interior Alaska and longer daylight hours are combining to give us  the perfect prescription for dealing with PISD. Of course it has not been particularly conducive to blogging and emails…
And that is something I am dealing with right now.  The long awaited post Iditarod Dew Claw Blog.

For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.   Jean-Paul Sartre

On the trail to Nome

On the trail to Nome

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Some notes on Dan, the team, and the start~

Thanks to Rich Strömberg for this photo of Dan and the team headed out from Willow.

Thanks to Rich Strömberg for this photo of Dan and the team headed out from Willow.

As I type this Dan is resting in Tokatna, and while he does I am taking some time to get caught up on emails, blogs, and updating the sponsors page on our website. So far, from what I can tell following the tracker and reports online Dan is doing fine. He still has 15 dogs, and the one dropped dog was a minor issue. I know Dan always errs on the side of caution when it comes to our dogs. We are hearing that the trail is TOUGH, like really TOUGH! And it is taking it’s toll on mushers and sleds.  Dogs on the other hand seem to be handling it without problem. In all the photos I have seen of Dan his sled appears to be fine, and I heard from a friend on the trail that Dan is looking happy and moving good. You can see him and the sled in this photo of him checking into the Rohn checkpoint. Dan also has a nice soundbite in KUAC’s radio report from Tues. And a photo of him enjoying (yup you guessed it) Bacon in Takotna on the Iditarod website. I sure do appriciate all the people and media sharing news and updates from the trail. But truth be told: I would much rather be out there on the trail, then here behind the laptop.

Dan taking off in Anchorage with Iditarider Bill Harder

Dan taking off in Anchorage with Iditarider Bill Harder

If you are following along like me I want to share with you some places to get good info about the race~

KUAC - public radio in Fairbanks has a reporter on the trail, she also has a Tumblr for more info.

Alaska Daily News – is reporting as well and has a section on their website

And now falling into the “better late then never” category, some photos from the start.  Everything went very smooth both days. The dogs made us proud, they were visited by 100′s of fans; and time and time again we hears “wow these are the friendliest dogs”. And, once again, the blue eyed dogs were a huge crowd favorite. We really enjoyed getting to meet and greet the mushing supporters and our kids were really enjoying all the attention.

Sweet Pea giving hugs to Iditarod fans.

Sweet Pea giving hugs to Iditarod fans.

The Anchorage start is more like a parade then a race, and it is our chance to meet mushing fans and share the excitement of  and passion for the dogs. Fans line the route cheering. We gave our Iditarider, Bill Harder, a huge bag of dog booties and 4 pounds of candy, all to toss out to kids (and excited adults) along the trail. He did an excellent job if distributing the goodies as we ran through Anchorage. We also enjoyed the refreshments being passed out to mushers and riders at the Muffin Man’s house and the Horizon Airline hot dog stop.

 

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Pre-Iditarod excitement~

The pre-race week in Anchorage is always a whirlwind of excitement and things to do.  Traveling  with the dog requires extra care and attention. And of course add to that the inevitable stress of preparing for the challenge of 1000 mile trail and…
Well you can imagine.

Dan's race team stretching out.

Dan’s race team stretching out.

BUT I wanted to take some time tonight, before the start of Iditarod to thank some of the amazing people who make this all possible.  As well as some of Dan’s photos from today’s fun run. We are lucky to stay somewhere we can set up a temporary home for the dogs. And there are trail near-by where we can take the dogs for runs. This close to the race we are not worried about doing long runs.  The hard work of conditioning the dogs to be able to handle long runs and putting on the miles needed to prepare them is done.  We run here to get the dogs out and let them have fun, stretch their legs and stay loosened up.   It also lets Dan look at his team and make sure everyone is moving well.  But really the fun is the most important part.  When traveling with dogs it is important to take extra care to make sure not only that they are comfortable, but that they keep a good attitude and don’t get bored and restless while living in a temporary camp. Not to mention these well conditioned athletes have energy to burn, and running is their favorite way to do it.

So without further ado – Mush Thanks & Dan’s Photos ~ Continue reading

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Checkpoint by checkpoint…

…is how you get to Nome.

Thistle and Orchid are happy to hear about their new sponsors.

Thistle and Orchid are happy to hear about their new sponsors.

MUSH THANKS to our new Checkpoint Sponsors and new members of Team Dew Claw!

  • Betty & Frederick Porter
  • Melanie Hennigan
  • Cynthia Lawrence Calkins & Family
  • Ev Vykin – sponsoring Elim
    Ev pointed out to me that Elim spelled backwards was Mile.
  • AND we were very honored that Iditaskate 2014 in Bethlehem PA was skating for the Dew Claw Kennel dogs. These skaters worked hard to support the Dew Claw Dogs and sponsor the Rainy Pass checkpoint.

Dan and I and the dogs are all in Anchorage. We had a safe trip and are now camped out with our dear friends Theresa and John.  The dogs had their vet check today and passed with flying colors, in addition to numerous compliments on how very friendly our dogs were! *insert huge proud grin here* Continue reading

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